Q. Can a semicolon ever accompany an exclamation point? I’m not at liberty to share the actual sentence, but here’s an analogous one of my own creation: The missing cookies could mean one of several things: (1) Jane had gotten hungry while she was studying; (2) John had come by and helped himself—that moocher!; (3) I was snacking in my sleep again. I’ve solved the problem in this case by deleting the em dash and enclosing “that moocher!” in parentheses, but I’m wondering what the rule is.

A. I think your solution is a good one; a semicolon after an exclamation point wouldn’t wash in this department. (P.S. We’re dying to know what that secret sentence could be.)